Jun 222011
 

I have been in and around construction my whole life.

CatD9

At  15 years old my Dad put me on a cat dozer and said “go to work”.  He spent about 20 minutes with me showing me how to start the D8 Caterpillar dozer and showing me how to raise the blade and turn.   Dreamed of that day since I was 3 or 4.  Fun but very stressful.  Dad expected a lot from me.  I was his blood and had to be better than guys even twice my age.  It was a cable dozer.  No hydraulics.  Required a lot of muscle power and forethought.  I was immersed in the excitement of being on and operating this huge piece of yellow iron.  I was in control.  Stressed to the max.


I have aged some 42 years.  Not driving the equipment anymore.

Catgrader

Dad has been gone for several years.  I have been directing construction departments for owners and developers for some time now.  Miss my Dad.  Miss the stress of ownership.  This week has truly been the most stressful of my life.  An amazing amount of lost commitments from vendors to contractors.  Bad communications.  Huge cracks in the construction process.  Missed my first deadline for an opening.  Been close before.  Moved dates before.  But never had the media, our executive team, community and excess staff standing by at the last minute for a big open house.  It was a closed house.  Can’t open a store without the store front glass.  V.P.’s  calling every hour.  Lost truck with a palette of XIR laminated glass on it.   In addition another project in Washington was falling apart a week before opening.  Another closed house?  Stress to the MAX!!!!!

Blackneckedstiltfight

Feel like I have been in a week long battle.

How to relax?  How to pull it all back together?

Operate a large piece of equipment.  Tomorrow I am moving a large amount of dirt placed on a property blocking the best view of our brand new store.  No stress tomorrow.  Got the operating down.  Just spreading some dirt.  Time to unwind.  Time to clean up and pull it back together.

avocetpreen


Tonight my whole focus and energy shifted.

At exit 19 in Reno was a couple.  A young man and a young women.  He was holding cardboard sign that said..”only need gas for car”.  She was sitting indian style on the concrete island.  Her back to the traffic.  As I stopped her tears caught my attention.  Real tears.  Not a beggars tears.

After filling up their car with gas and giving them a couple of bucks for dinner, I realized how blessed I am.  Never had to ask for money on a corner.  I have been blessed my whole life.  Dad taught me how to be debt free.  Always told me “either you have it or the bank has it”.  My mother taught me to give before taking.  It will always come back in bonuses.  Dad taught me that there is always time to find value in something or someone.    My first impression of the couple changed to respect and admiration when I looked closer and saw their true colors.  That which must be seen up close and personal…

Swallow


The couple committed to me they would pay it forward within 3 days.  Either in service, a smile to a stranger or to each other.   Someway.

It brought me back to reality.  My stress’s really are minimal.  I have it pretty darn good.  Enough of the worrying.  Just get done what I can.  Can’t do more than that.

Looking forward to a time on the loader tomorrow.  Thinking about how lucky and blessed I am………………

 Posted by at 11:10 PM
May 262011
 

What makes me tick?  I work everyday with people I enjoy and respect.  I love my career and this job.  I have a beautiful wife that has taken up home decorating with a passion.  And is exceeding everyones expectations.  My home has turned more beautiful.  I love my kids. They each have their own talents, hopes and individualism.  My grandkids……well I am left speechless with love and enjoyment.   It isn’t all good.  Yesterday I had to eat a little crow at work.  Though I was praised for my work ethic I know that I had fell short.  Not the first time.  And not the last.  Last week the doc called and gave me news that at first was shocking.  Then it all fell into place and I understand all the consequences.  Though my life is full of positives,  there is the intermittent emotional stress and set backs.

So I fall back to the greatest stress reliever in my life.  Photography.

Heron fish midnight

I never get tired of the Great Blue Heron.  An easy subject to shoot.  And found in a lot of places.  Tonight I found this beauty fishing.  Watching this big bird reveals that they are quit successful at fishing.  And they let me into their moments……

duck fight

These two ducks were fighting tonight over the female.  This happens a lot in the wild world.  There is always a winner.  Sometimes to ones own fate.  Look at the fear(?)in the ducks eyes.  I was invisible to him.  This instant saved with 1’s and 0’s.  A real mind blowing thing to me.  The camera literally has a brain.  It just needs a nudge when photographing………

Black head bird

The darks fall into a black hole.  The character of the subject is limited to the split second catch on the sensor.  I think about the balance of light and real reproduction of the subject every time I shoot.  In the end light or dark is compromised.  At best the fast moving subject is trapped motionless.   At worst the subject looks different than real life……

Yellow belly bird

The entire time the camera is to my good eye I forget.  Stress falls away quickly.  Epiphanies surge.  Peak experiences abound.  The time from capture to viewing on the screen at home is like christmas eve to the opening of the present.  Anticipation of seeing if the flash of an image in my eye when shooting turned out as my brain thought I saw it.  Hoping that my imagination will pop out as the image is brought up in post.  I escape.  A little selfish.  My own time.  Thinking of only myself?  Probably.  At the end of the day I am more calm.  More relaxed. I have a better perspective with my role as a father, grandfather and co-worker.   I have time to look ahead.  At least one more day.  One more chance to shoot my wild friends.  To love my family.  To love my co-workers.  And to love myself.  What else is there?

 Posted by at 9:45 PM
Apr 282011
 

Pahrump Nevada – a brothel town.  Building a store there.  Quite a place.   I hope that the relationship depicted here between the construction equipment at the job and the Gentleman’s club across the street is as close as the two get.

Pahrump gentlemans club

 Posted by at 8:29 PM
Apr 202011
 

It’s baseball season!!!

Hardly ever watch baseball.  Live or on TV.  Kinda boring.  But when my grandson plays it’s like a Laker’s vs. Celtics play off every game.  It is a blast!  Doesn’t matter that every kid is out on the field.  Or that the coach is 15 feet from home plate “tossing” in the pitch.  Or that a little batter will run to the pitchers mound after hitting the ball instead of home plate.  It’s better than Keystone Cops.  Real talent run amuck.  Cute as ever.  Here is a look……..

Drewatplate

Drewrun

drew on second base

Grandson #2.  Thought after #1 I had all the love I could give.  like Niagra falls it kept coming.  This little munchkin loves his pappa.  (that would be me).  And boy do I love him……..

Cameronrun1

Then there is the teammates and opposing team mates.

The home run hitter……

Beckstead hit2

Running to third is serious business…….

serious runner

Ready…..Set………..GO!!!!!!

Boy at third base

Can we go home now?

Sad look


 Posted by at 7:27 PM
Dec 142010
 

Farm line up

Weddings!

Swings moods, decisions, and PHOTOGRAPHS!

The first thing I told my daughter was that I was not taking photos at her wedding!    Too much pressure and too many opportunities to sit front row at the critics club. So she hired a …..person?  I think she is claiming to be a photographer.  I will not mention names.  Mostly because I don’t know her name.  BUT to say the least it would have been easier if I took the photographs.

So why the line up of farm tractor?  No pressure no hype!  I love wildlife, scenics, nature and anything but portraits.  Would rather have ketchup on my cheesecake.    My daughter brought the photographs to me that the “person” had taken.  One in particular that caught my eye was a full body or what is called a bridal shot.  In the shot my other daughter had held up the vail and let it drop to give the impression the wind was blowing.  Now I am talking about the photographs that the “person” had reviewed, edited and returned to my daughter.  The photograph included my daughters leg and arm.  Yes the daughter NOT in the wedding dress.  Are you kidding me!!!!!  I can’t post the pics because my future son in law may see my daughter in her wedding dress.  ( I guess that is a No No).  Well…… you be the judge;

Before i worked on the photo………………

DSC_1517-2

After I removed the STICKS!!!!!!!!!…….

mandybridal6dadsfav

No matter what my daughters beauty came through.    Here is a couple of pics DAD took…

mandyandbenattree

mandyandbencoloroverblkandwht

 Posted by at 11:05 PM
Sep 082010
 

Do eagles eat snakes?  Not sure.

Tonight while driving to Prosser, Washington for dinner with the “biker” the drive was interrupted.  Across the sky just in front of me flew a big bird with a huge snaked dangling below.  As usual when seeing an immediate photo opportunity the rental car brakes were tested.  The eagle landed about 200 yards away.  Did not have the big gun with me to bring the photo close.  Put on the 70-200 and the 2x converter.  Had no time to approach the ensuing  battle in stealth mode.  Shot from the roadside in the car.

Look close. The snake is about 4 feet long and wrapped around the eagle……

Eagle with snake wrap

The pic’s aren’t the best.  Had to crop a bunch.  Thank goodness for VR, digital and Nikon resolution!  So at least the story can be told in pic’s.

The snake bit the eagle……….and the fight began……….

Eagle Snake bite

Eagle Snake fight

The snake made an impression and was the most aggressive and determined.  If the snake was venomous I wonder if it did in fact leave a poisonous gift.

Hopefully another day and another battle!!!!

Eagle Snake get away

 Posted by at 10:46 PM
Sep 022010
 

Love is beautiful.  And so are these two people.

Annie is special.  What a gal.  Beautiful, smart and hard working.  Her fiance – I met tonight.  Seems like a great fit for her.  They seem to have the same goals ambitions and desires.  Important these days.  They are to be betrothed in October.  God bless you!  You deserve it!

annieandshonatwallclosesoft

Dan helped tonight.  Good thing his shots were the best!!!

annieandshononbrudgesit

For some reason they wanted to keep taking this shot!!!!!

annieandshonkissatbridgesmall

 Posted by at 10:10 AM
Aug 252010
 

His name is Ben

He is dating my daughter,.

I like Ben

last weekend at Bear lake Ben and my daughter played.  Wave runners for each of them.  Look close at this pic.  In the spray from Ben is my daughter……getting wet.

benovermandski

Crazy FUN

benspray

Impressive “guns” ………

bigguns

 Posted by at 11:13 PM
2016